100 Top Useful Resources For Single Moms

[tweetmeme][fbshare]As a single income family, sometimes just providing the basics can be challenging. If that happens to you, you should know that there are many different agencies who want to help you feed, clothe, shelter, and provide other essentials for your family. I have ordered the list into sub-categories, that way you can find what you want without any issues.

Food assistance

1) If your kids are in public school, they may be eligible for free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch.
http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/lunch/

2) If your children are under five years of age, you may be eligible for WIC.
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/

3) Families under a certain income are usually able to get food stamps.
http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/

4) Angel Food Ministries provides low-cost, high-quality food to families regardless of financial need. Their boxes of food should feed a family of four for a week for about thirty dollars (as of November 2010).
http://www.angelfoodministries.com/about/

5) The national clearinghouse for 211 will be able to link you to local food banks in your area.
http://www.211.org/

Rental Information

1) If you’re unable to pay your rent or utilities, look here:
http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/rental_assistance/local

2) Expect to find a waiting list, but HUD has several programs available to help you with your long-term housing needs.
http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/rental_assistance

3) The Salvation Army will frequently provide emergency assistance for essentials, including housing, clothing and a few days worth of food.
http://www.uss.salvationarmy.org/uss/www_uss.nsf/fm-ndos?OpenForm&go=1&zip=01004

4) If you have been the victim of illegal action by a landlord, you need to know your rights.
http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/rental_assistance/tenantrights

5) Many churches are able to pay some or all of your living expenses for up to one month. To be connected with who helps in your area, go to the national 211 website.
http://www.211.org/

Emergency shelter

1) If the worst has happened, and you and your children are facing homelessness, you should know that in many areas, there are shelters solely for women and children. You can find the nearest homeless shelter here:
http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/

2) If you are fleeing domestic violence, and are in need of immediate alternative shelter, virtually every area in the country has a battered women shelter nearby.
http://endabuse.org/section/_get_help

3) In some areas, particularly if the domestic violence center is not filled up, homeless women and children can stay there. This is because of the violence that you are likely to experience if forced to stay on the streets.
http://endabuse.org/section/_get_help

4) 211, if available in your area, will have a complete listing of all the shelters in your area that will take women and children. One piece of advice, they tend to fill up quickly, so be in line before they unlock the doors, and be very careful with your belongings.
http://www.211.org/

5) If you are pregnant and facing homelessness, http://www.nurturingnetwork.org/needhelp.html would love to help you with your housing needs, both before and after your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Support

1) Whether you’re having your first baby, or you’re an experienced mom, an unplanned pregnancy can be intimidating. For almost any type of support related to your pregnancy, including legal help, exploring your choices, housing, etc. look here:
http://www.nurturingnetwork.org/needhelp.html

2) To find out if you are pregnant, and for help deciding what you want to do, look here:
http://www.optionline.org/get-help/

3) Women who live in Minnesota or Wisconsin can benefit from the services at http://www.totallifecare.org/. They offer counseling, prenatal care, and blunt discussions of what your choices are.

4) Many areas are serviced by Catholic Charities. Their website does not allow you to search for a local church, but http://www.211.org/ should be able to give you the contact information. They can help you with prenatal care, prescriptions, and sometimes maternity or baby items.

5) The Salvation Army frequently offers help to pregnant women and single moms. Type your zip code into the box on their home page, and you’ll be linked to the nearest center. http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf

Child-Care

1) Most single moms want to work. But when your paycheck isn’t enough to pay your bills and your day-care, you’ll need to apply for help. This is again a time when using the website for the 211 information will be a good idea.
http://www.211.org/

2) Finding a great daycare can be tough. To make sure your kids are safe when you can’t be with them, you need to ask the right questions.
http://www.nncc.org/Choose.Quality.Care/qual.parent.checklist.html

3) What kind of child care is best for your family? Do you know the difference?
http://www.childcareaware.org/en/child_care_101/types_of_care/

4) Finding child care in your area can be time-consuming and frustrating. For a time-saver, look here:
http://www.childcareaware.org/

5) For more financial assistance with child care, you can look up your state’s website to see what type of help is available from them.
http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/statedata/dirs/display.cfm?title=ccdf

Child-Support

1) You probably would like to get child support. Your children are legally entitled to it, and unless you have reasons to fear for your safety or the safety of your children, you might want to at least consider it. For help proving paternity, or getting a child support order, your state has a child support division. http://www.211.org/ will help you find who is in charge of it in your state.

2) If you have an existing court order, and are owed back child support, support kids is a non-governmental source for help. They will take some of the money you get, but it may be an effective choice for moms who are frustrated with the state.
http://www.supportkids.com/child-support

3) Not sure if you can get child support?
http://family.findlaw.com/child-support/getting-support/

4) If the father of your child is in another state, has made no effort to see the children for at least two years, and owes at least two thousand dollars in back child support, you may be able to get help from a federal office for child support.
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/

5) Sometimes it’s nice to know about how much child support you will eventually get. A state-wide calculator will help you with that.
http://www.divorcehq.com/calculators.shtml

Paying For College

1) The best source of free and low-interest funding for college starts at
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

2) If you are 35 or older, and have done well in college thus far, you may be able to get a scholarship from
http://www.newcombefoundation.org/application_mws.html

3) To keep an eye on your existing student loans and grants, you might want to glance over here:
http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/

4) If you’d like to consolidate your current student loans:
http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/

5) If you’d like to be matched with scholarships that reward people like you for their good grades in high school or college, you will love fast web.
http://www.fastweb.com/ and you check out information about grants at http://www.schoolgrantsblog.com/

Buying A Home

1) Buying your home does not have to be a dream. If you have a low-income and live in a rural area, look here:
http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

2) If you don’t mind investing a lot of hard work into your dream, you’ll love this:
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-Self-Help_Loans.html

3) Another agency that requires you to help build homes before you get one of your own is Habitat For Humanity.
http://www.habitat.org/getinv/apply.aspx

4) If you were in the military, you might be able to get a home loan through the VA.
http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/eligibility.asp

5) States have different programs available to help you buy your dream home. For more information, search here:
http://www.hud.gov/buying/localbuying.cfm

Working From Home

1) So, you’d like to work from home! Whether it is to create a little extra income, or to work full-time, that’s great! What will you do? There are thousands of jobs or businesses to choose from. For information on what your choices are, and who is legitimate, look here: http://www.wahm.com/. But here’s a hint, never pay an application fee, or for employment information. Employers should pay YOU, not the other way around!

2) Another forum is http://www.workplacelikehome.com/

3) An enlightening article on working from home, as seen on Good Morning America, shares a lot of information on finding work that you can do from home:
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/JobClub/job-club-work-home/story?id=9836136

4) Another article, this time from MSN Money, about working from home:
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseKids/4realJobsYouCanDoFromHome.aspx

5) Whether you’re looking for a job or an at-home business, one thing is for sure. When you work from home, you need online friends who know what it’s like:
http://www.hbwm.com

Affordable Medical Care

1) Although it shouldn’t be, many people in this country have to choose between seeing a doctor and paying basic living expenses. To avoid that, Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides assistance with certain medical costs, as well as referrals to other programs you might be eligible for.
http://www.pparx.org/

2) You, or your children, might be eligible for Medicaid. This is usually administered by the social services office in your area, which may also be known as The Office Of Health or Human Services.
For more information, look here: http://www.cbpp.org/shsh/apply.htm

3) Even if you’re not medicaid eligible, your kids miught be able to get free or low-cost medical insurance through your state. Some states are even allowing pregnant women to participate in this! To find out how to apply, go to:
http://www.cbpp.org/shsh/apply.htm

4) If you would like help finding a free or low-cost clinic close to you, you will love this website:
http://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/free_clinic_finder

5) Some assistance is available in one state, that is not in another. To see what you might be eligible for in your state, look here:
http://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/list_of_participating_programs

Legal Help

1) If you are, or have been, a victim of domestic violence, you desperately need to know about Have Justice-Will Travel, Inc. Also known as HJWT, they provide in home consultations, free legal services to low-income women and their children, and many other services to help you start a new, violence-free life all over the U.S. Their website is: http://www.havejusticewilltravel.org/hjwt_locations.shtml

2) Center For Law and Social Policy works exclusively with low-income people. Their website, at http://www.clasp.org/about/, offers enormous detail about what can be expected of them.

3) Volunteer Legal Services Program provides access to legal aid to residents of Central Northeast Ohio and has a comprehensive website with more information at http://www.communitylegalaid.org/help

4) Legal Services Corporation, or LSC, provides legal advice on civil matters to qualified, low-income individuals and maintains a website at
http://www.lsc.gov/about/lsc.php

5) It is often possible to get free or greatly discounted legal services, by going through a law school. You will be working with one or more students, but they will be supervised by either a professor or an attorney. For information on law schools in your area look here:
http://stu.findlaw.com/schools/usaschools/index.html

Providing Holiday Gifts

1) Even single moms who are fine the rest of the year may have trouble making sure their kids have a good Christmas for their kids. The salvation Army provides food, toys, and clothing to families in need year-round, but with a special emphasis at Christmas. Their website is
http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-text-dynamic-arrays/4A2D2520606517C4802573F5005661DB?openDocument

2) Toys For Tots is a well-respected provider of toys for children. Sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserves, they do their best to see that every child gets a toy on Christmas morning. Their website, http://www.toysfortots.org/, has information on the program and how to apply.

3) If you are military, or your children’s father is military, you might be able to get help with Christmas toys from Operation Homefront. To find out how to apply, go to
http://www.operationhomefront.net/wehelp.aspx

4) A number of churches attempt to help needy families provide Christmas presents or dinners.To find out who in your area is offering assistance, the ever faithful website is
http://www.211.org

5) The State social service organization ( also known as the food stamp or medicaid office) may have other resources to choose from. To find the nearest one to you, go here:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/map.htm